A.1 Systematically analyse a topic to formulate an appropriate research question

  
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Unit 3: Research Methods 

BTEC Level 7 (2023/24)
Diploma, Extended Diploma & Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership

Level: 7
Unit type: Mandatory
Guided learning hours: 45
Credit value: 20 

Unit introduction
One of the key responsibilities of strategic managers is to make decisions. Working in  any organisation could involve making different decisions regarding major capital investment projects, business finance, new product development, mergers and acquisitions, business location and workforce planning. The one factor that is common  to all these decisions is that there will be different alternatives which will be presented to the strategic manager for a decision to be made. In many cases, each alternative will be supported by different members of the executive management team who will present well-argued cases for their preferred solution, based on their role and experience as well as other available management information.

Strategic managers must, therefore, develop a set of skills and a way of thinking that enables them to consider, review and evaluate the evidence presented to them, and to challenge strategic decisions with their own evidence-based knowledge and experience.

In this unit, learners will need to propose a unique research question related to an area of professional business practice that interests them and will contribute to their professional development. They will carry out a literature review on a topic, critically evaluating the literature’s relevance to their research question.

Successful completion of the unit will contribute towards helping learners develop and improve their own critical and reflective skills by applying decision-making, problem- solving and other skills, including planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation.

Learners will present and justify their research findings to an invited audience using appropriate presentation software.

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria
To pass this unit, the learner needs to meet all the learning outcomes for the unit. The assessment criteria determine the standard required to achieve the unit.

Learning outcomes                                                                                 Assessment criteria

A

Understand how to prepare a research proposal

A.1

Systematically analyse a topic to formulate an appropriate research question

A.2

Prepare a comprehensive research proposal

A.3

Prepare a work schedule to a given timescale

B

Understand the principles of research methodology

B.1

Systematically analyse the contribution of relevant quantitative and qualitative data to research activities

B.2

Critically evaluate the methods used to generate appropriate evidence used in research projects

B.3

Comprehensively analyse the potential ethical considerations arising from relevant research activities

C

Understand how to select material from the outcome of research activities

C.1

Comprehensively analyse relevant statistical data drawn from research activities

C.2

Interpret the results of a statistical analysis of research findings

C.3

Critically evaluate literature used in a research project

D

Understand how to present the findings of a research project

D.1

Prepare a comprehensive and analytical formal research report

D.2

Present a logically consistent justification of the findings of a research project

D.3

Critically evaluate own skills and knowledge, with reference to the outcome of a research project

Suggested assessment approach
This section must be read in conjunction with Section 6: Assessment.
This unit is assessed internally by the centre and externally verified by Pearson. The table below shows the suggested approach to assessments.
When preparing the assessment for this unit, the learner should be given an Assignment brief designed by the tutor. This brief should be set in a specific organisational context, it should draw on learning from the unit, and be designed in a way that enables learners to meet all the assessment criteria. All the learning outcomes in this unit can be assessed within one research project activity once the unit content has been delivered.
The unit provides the opportunity to draw together a range of other content areas from the programme of study to form a holistic piece of work that makes a positive contribution to research on commercial practice.

Learning outcome                                                                            Suggested assessment approach

A. Understand how to prepare a research proposal

A completed research project and presentation delivered for an audience that must contain a subject specialist. As a minimum, the audience must consist of the tutor-assessor who has supported the learner throughout the project. The tutor-assessor should decide whether to expand the audience to include other people, if appropriate and it is practical to do so. The audience could include other tutors, members of the community, representatives from employment sectors and other learners.

B. Understand the principles of research methodology

C. Understand how to select material from the outcome of research activities

D. Understand how to present the findings of a research project


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